Research & Clinical Trials

Clinical Research at Spaulding

Spaulding Rehabilitation Network clinical research projects include studies related to:

 

 

Aging

Mobility - Jonathan Bean, MD, MS

Dr. Bean's research focuses upon the amelioration and prevention of mobility related disability among older adults. His current research focuses on identifying modifiable impairments underlying mobility decline in the elderly, as well as developing rehabilitative interventions to prevent mobility related disability among at risk populations, such as those with musculoskeletal disorders. He has expertise in exercise physiology, human performance and epidemiology. His work is funded through both the National Institutes of Health and Private Foundations.

Cardiovascular Research - J. Andrew Taylor, PhD

The Cardiovascular Research Program is focused on the study of changes in cardiovascular function associated with healthy aging and age related diseases. Current studies are investigating the mechanisms of these changes as well as interventions such as exercise and statin treatment to prevent or overcome cardiovascular declines associated with coronary artery disease, heart failure, and stroke.

Assistive Technologies

Brain-Computer Interfaces - Leigh Hochberg, MD, PhD

Dr. Hochberg is working on the BrainGate Neural Interface System to determine whether individuals with quadriplegia might be able to control a computer cursor by thought alone. The studies are recruiting people with spinal cord injury, brainstem stroke, muscular dystrophy, and ALS.

Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems  - Joe T. Giacino, PhD

As one of 16 Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems (TBIMS) across the U.S., Spaulding is a recognized leader in medical research and patient care. All TBI Model Systems work together to improve patient care, maintain a national database, provide long-term follow up, participate in independent and collaborative research and provide continuing education to individuals and families, healthcare professionals and the community-at-large. Please visit www.sh-tbi.org for more information.

Cardiovascular Laboratory Research - J. Andrew Taylor, PhD

The Cardiovascular Research Laboratory is pursuing research into potential physiologic explanations for the intrinsic ability of the blood vessels in the brain to "auto-regulate" blood flow. Current research is characterizing potential mechanisms for this autoregulation and how it may be compromised after traumatic brain injury, potentially resulting in characteristic symptoms of headache and dizziness.

Effects of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) on Memory for TBI Patients - Ross Zafonte, DO

LED is a form of light therapy that has been used safely and effectively since the mid 1960s. Applications include wound healing, reduction of edema and inflammation, and prevention of tissue loss. Recent studies indicate the possibility of a beneficial effect of LED when used to treat TBI. The purpose of this 4 month long research study is to investigate whether Transcranial, high-intensity LED applied outside the skull can improve working memory in TBI patients. Qualified candidates must be 18 to 65 years of age, sustained a mild TBI at least 6 months prior to enrollment and continue to have memory and thinking issues.

“Cognitive Remediation After Trauma Exposure” (CREATE) Study - Ross Zafonte, DO

Sometimes, recovering from a traumatic brain injury and/or a traumatic event (post-traumatic stress disorder –PTSD) is difficult and very slow for patients.  Some survivors have lingering symptoms such as poor memory and exhaustion. One of the most prevalent symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and/or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is difficulty with memory, attention, and speed of information processing. Many of our nation’s servicemen serving in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer at least one concussion during their tour(s).  The purpose of the study is to assess the effectiveness of 2 different medications (Galantamine or Ritalin) in reducing cognitive symptoms in patients diagnosed at least 3 months ago with a traumatic brain injury and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Qualified candidates must be between the ages of 18 – 55, able to come to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital- Boston for 6 visits over ~ 18 weeks and not currently taking Galantimine, Ritalin, Addrell, and some other mediations.  Subjects will be compensated for their time in the study.

Effects of Amantidine on the Treatment of Chronic TBI Irritability and Aggression - Ross Zafonte, DO

Irritability and aggression are common, yet difficult to treat, symptoms of TBI. Amantadine is an FDA approved drug that is used to treat Influenza A, Parkinson's disease and other similar conditions. A recent, single site study has indicated the possibility of a beneficial effect of Amantidine on the treatment of irritability and aggression in TBI patients. The purpose of this 3-month research study is to investigate whether Amantadine is effective in treating irritability and aggression in patients with TBI. Qualified candidates must be 18 - 65 years of age, sustained a TBI at least 6 months prior to enrollment and continue to experience irritability and aggression.

Burn Injury

Jeffery Schneider, MD

Dr. Schneider oversees a variety of research studies in the field of burn rehabilitation.  Current clinical studies involve the use of novel robotic and computer gaming technology to treat burn contractures and an investigation of non-invasive brain stimulation to treat burn pain.  In addition, the burn rehabilitation research group is investigating long term outcomes of burn survivors utilizing a national rehabilitation dataset and by examining the experiences of a unique cohort of survivors of a large-scale fire.

Burn Injury Model System
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital was selected as a Burn Injury Model System site by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) for October 2012-September 2017. In collaboration with the Massachusetts General Hospital and Shriners Hospital for Children – Boston, this funding allows clinicians and researchers to improve both regional and national understanding of burn injury treatment models. Each Burn Model System site contributes to the national Burn Model Systems Database to foster a better understanding of long-term health outcomes. For additional information on the Boston-Harvard Burn Injury Model System please go to www.bh-bims.org.

Motion Analysis

Paolo Bonato, PhD

Spaulding's Motion Analysis Laboratory combines laboratory and field assessments focused on biomechanics, wearable sensors and robotics assessments to enhance mobility in individuals with mobility limiting conditions caused by age, illness, or trauma. Research topics include cerebral palsy, muscle coordination in healthy subjects and stroke survivors, use of robotic exoskeletons for gait retraining and upper limb motion, restoration of gait in amputees, home monitoring via wearable sensors of individuals with mobility limiting conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, stroke and COPD. For more information, please go to: http://www.spauldingnetwork.org/research/motion-analysis-lab.aspx or http://srh-mal.net/

Spinal Cord Injury

Leslie Morse, DO

Dr. Morse is working on project funded by NIH and the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network entitled "Neuro-Osteogenic Interactions Following Spinal Cord Injury". The purpose of this project is to investigate the pathophysiology of bone loss associated with human neurological disorders, including spinal cord injury.

Spinal Cord Injury Model System
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital’s Spinal Cord Injury Program was selected as a Spinal Cord Injury Model System site by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) for October 2011-September 2016. This funding allows Spaulding clinicians and researchers to improve both regional and national understanding of SCI treatment models. Each SCI Model Systems site contributes to the national SCI Model Systems Database for a better understanding of long-term health outcomes. For additional information on Spaulding Harvard Spinal Cord Injury Model System please go to www.sh-sci.org.

Best Hospital 2013

Spaulding is ranked 6th among rehabilitation hospitals by US News & World Report.

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Clinical Trials at Spaulding
RSVP for Health - Clinical Trials at Spaulding

Spaulding is part of Partners HealthCare's Clinical Research Network.  Enrollment opportunities exist across many therapeutic categories.

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